Restoration of Fred Astaire birthplace home moves forward

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Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The faded 1880s home is known to folks in South Omaha as the Fred Astaire house.

After all, a portion of 10th Street is named for the giant of Hollywood’s golden era of song and dance.

Ron Hug has watched as the music faded from this house over the decades, but not the stories in its history. So he located the people who own it now and presented them with a plan to restore the home to the turn of the 20th century, and within a year or so open the doors to a place in time where families like the Austerlitz’, later known for their kids Fred and Adele Astaire, can be celebrated.

”It’s history,” Hug said. “There are so many golden-era Hollywood stars that came from Omaha. Fred Astaire’s just one of them, Marlon Brando, Nick Nolte, Montgomery Clift.”

Remembering and preserving the history of Fred Astaire resonates within the entertainment industry. Broadway star Susan Egan was in Omaha recently on tour when asked about the value of preserving sites like Astaire’s birthplace. She applauded Omaha for the efforts.

”There is no history of dance without Fred Astaire,” Egan said. “You never know who that next Fred Astaire is going to be, and it might be a little somebody who walks through that house, and recognizes that this great man started very humbly, and it might give that person the guts, I don’t know, to believe in their own dream.”

Hug said funds are being raised to complete the purchase, renovate with a watchful eye on history and some time next year begin historic tours of the house he’s calling the 1880 house, but everyone knows as the Astaire house.

”There’s nothing in Omaha to recognize their contribution, so this will be a start.”

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